1. Get a copy of your policy.
The insurance policy in a long-term disability claim is the most important document. It establishes your entitlement to benefits, defines when you can receive benefits and it outlines your obligations and that of your insurer. You are entitled to the document or policy booklet so always make sure to get a copy if you do not have one when you apply for the benefit. One final note: read your policy and make sure you understand it.
2. Meet your deadlines.
If you are entitled to long-term disability, there are timelines which will require your attention. There are dates within the policy that will require you to provide the insurance company with forms. Missing these dates could compromise your entitlement to the benefit, if no action is taken. Once you are injured, immediately take steps to read your policy and ensure you understand the timelines. Also, contact a lawyer immediately to assist you with any questions.
3. Submit your claim right away.
You should take immediate steps to file a claim for disability. Make sure you fill out the forms provided by the insurer and get your doctor to prepare any medical information required.
4. Make sure you keep copies of all correspondence between you and your insurer.
Often people will come to a lawyer without some critical documentation like correspondence to identify why an insurer has denied your benefit. This information can assist a lawyer in making a determination of the issues you face when you first consult the lawyer.
5. Make sure you obtain treatment recommended by your treating doctors.
This is something that any injured person should do regardless of the type of claim that they have. Simply put, staying at home and doing nothing will not help your claim. As with anything, your actions or inaction will impact your claim.
6. Read the letters from your insurer.
Do not assume that someone else will take care of requests from an insurer. Do not assume that your employer or healthcare providers will do it for you. You are the first and last line of defense in your claim. Remember you are the one responsible for filling out forms or having them filled out on your behalf.
7. Applying for CPP Disability.
Many long-term disability policies require that you make an application for CPP disability. Make sure whether there is such a provision of your policy. If you fail to apply for this benefit your insurer may reduce your monthly benefit or, even worse, cut the benefit entirely.
8. Do not exaggerate.
Be succinct in outlining your injuries. If you exaggerate your injuries, you will not necessarily improve your chance of success. In fact, if a treating doctor refers to you as exaggerating your injuries, then it will have a serious impact from which your claim may be unable to recover.
9. Do not be non-compliant.
If you are non-compliant you may risk the possibility of the insurer terminating your benefits. For example, if treatment or a return-to-work program is recommended by a doctor, then you should attempt the treatment. The benefit to you is that this may help you to return to work. On the other hand, if the treatment does not improve your medical condition or assist you in returning to work then the insurer will not be able to portray you as someone who is not trying their best.
10. When in doubt, speak to a lawyer.
There may be times when you feel that the insurer is “taking advantage” of you or that you feel overwhelmed by the insurer’s actions. This is understandable. In such cases, you should immediately reach out to a lawyer for a consultation.
Even if you do the foregoing, the fact is that your insurer may still deny your claim for disability benefits or stop payment of the benefits. However, if you have taken the above noted steps you do improve your chances of success with a lawsuit.
Please feel free to contact me for a free, no hassle consultation at 647-490-9444 ext. 1 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Experience. Compassion. Results.